There are many different kinds of Ants found in the United States. They can be a nuisance both indoors and outdoors by contaminating food, but depending on the species, may also inflict painful bites (fire ants), damage wood structures (carpenter ants) and harm plants. True insects, all Ants have a three body parts, three sets of legs, and a unique bound? abdomen. They range in color from yellow to reddish-brown to black.
Ants live in colonies that can swell to hundreds or thousands of members. While the colonies typically start outside, many species will invade households, attracted by sweets, starches, greases, and plant and animal materials. Heavy rainfall, prolonged droughts or seasonal weather changes can drive ants indoors. You can see them crawling in lines along baseboards, cupboards and countertops, scouting for food.
Controlling ants make take a combination of approaches including chemical barriers around the outside of the home, indoor sprays, mound treatments and baits. Some ants cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship with certain garden insect pests, such as aphids, scales and whiteflies, which secrete a sugary substance known as honeydew. The ants feed on the honeydew and in return protect the pests from beneficial insects and may actually introduce new pests to uninfested plants. Consequently, controlling the pests can only be achieved by also controlling the ants or excluding them from plants with barriers or sprays.
Ants are found throughout the United States.
Keep your home, yard and garden sanitary: do not leave food lying around, take trash out regularly.
Seal any cracks found in windows or doors.
Store food in sealed containers.